This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re the Marriage of:
Linda Ann Gallus,
f/k/a Linda Ann Dzieweczynski, petitioner,
Gregory John Dzieweczynski,
Filed November 21, 2006
Ramsey County District Court
File No. F0-02-1007
Beverly K. Dodge, William D. Siegel, Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd., 400 Northtown Financial Plaza, 200 Coon Rapids Boulevard, Minneapolis, MN 55433 (for respondent)
John R. Hill, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd., 1500 Wells Fargo Plaza, 7900 Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55431-1194 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Randall, Judge; and Kalitowski, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges the marital property division in this appeal from a marital dissolution judgment and decree. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by not distributing the marital property equally and by failing to sufficiently support its property division with particularized findings of fact. “District courts have broad discretion over the division of marital property and appellate courts will not alter a district court’s property division absent a clear abuse of discretion or an erroneous application of the law.” Sirek v. Sirek, 693 N.W.2d 896, 898 (Minn. App. 2005). A district court abuses its discretion regarding a property division if its conclusion is “against logic and the facts on record.” Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984).
Detailed findings of fact are not required in marital property division cases. Vinnes v. Vinnes, 384 N.W.2d 589, 592 (Minn. App. 1986). The findings must only be sufficient for us to determine whether the district court took the proper factors into consideration when making the division decision. Id.; see also Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1 (2004) (providing list of factors for consideration).
Although the district court could have divided the property equally, as appellant suggests, it was not required to do so. When dividing marital property, the district court is required to make a “just and equitable division.” Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1 (2004). A court must consider a number of factors, including the parties’ health, skills, and employability. Id. But “the property division need not be mathematically equal to be just and equitable.” Justis v. Justis, 384 N.W.2d 885, 888 (Minn. App. 1986), review denied (Minn. May 29, 1986). The district court is under no obligation to find “extenuating circumstances” in order to allocate marital property unequally and no presumption of equal distribution exists. See Vinnes, 384 N.W.2d at 592 (stating that “an ‘appropriate,’ or just and equitable division does not require equal division”) (citing Ruzic v. Ruzic, 281 N.W.2d 502 (Minn. 1979)).
Appellant challenges the district court’s calculations and asserts that the property division allocates 64% to respondent and only 36% to appellant. But appellant does not attribute approximately $48,000 in cash and $31,000 in loans solely to appellant as the district court did. With those corrections, the property distribution more closely resembles not only the district court’s calculation of 59%/41% but also the more equal division appellant advocates.
The district court found that respondent “is unable to meet her reasonable monthly expenses without assistance from husband. [Respondent’s] assets are primarily in the equity in her home, and retirement accounts, leaving her very little cash savings on which to generate income.” Noting that “[i]t is fair that the parties enjoy, as much as possible, a similar standard of living to one another, given their lengthy marriage,” the district court decided that “[g]iven [respondent’s] monthly shortfall, it is fair and just that [respondent] receive a slightly larger share of the marital property. With the property division made herein [respondent] will receive approximately 59% of the marital property and [appellant] will receive the remaining 41%.” The record supports the district court’s findings.
Appellant argues that the district court should have made a higher maintenance award rather than making an unequal property division. But providing additional marital property in lieu of higher maintenance is not an abuse of discretion under Minnesota law. Here, the district court awarded respondent approximately 59% of the marital property and $700 per month spousal maintenance. The district court noted that “[w]hile this divorce was pending, [appellant] has been able to make $3,012.00 in cash contributions to charities during 2003 while simultaneously claiming he was not able to pay temporary spousal maintenance of $700.00 per month.” Furthermore, the district court found that appellant “has unnecessarily contributed to the length and expense of this proceeding by,” among other actions, “[a]ttempting to hide $16,000.00 from his checking account by transferring it into a cashier’s check and then failing to disclose its existence”; “[a]ttempting to hide marital funds by co-mingling those funds with funds of the parties’ daughter, Teresa”; and “[g]ifting (or claiming to gift) $10,000.00 to the parties’ daughter Teresa without the knowledge of [respondent].” The record here supports our determination that the district court’s property division was just and equitable.
We conclude that the district court provided sufficient findings and did not abuse its discretion in its division of the marital property.